INSPIRE Compliance of Public Health Information – A Danish Case Study

Anders K. Lyseen, Henning Sten Hansen


Geographical information systems have become important to research, planning, commercial businesses, and health organisations in the public and private sectors. Data management and sharing are advantageous considering that repeating tasks is costly. The existence of several versions of the ‘same’ dataset raises concerns over data reliability and authority. Digitisation, which largely involves spatial information, is one approach for sharing data. Thus, digitisation is a vital part of the Danish e-government strategy. A well-functioning spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is an important prerequisite for e-governance. Implementation of the INSPIRE Directive has placed emphasis on SDI within key ministries and has resulted in several national services with free access to spatial data. However, until now, public health information has not been a part of the Danish SDI. In Denmark, several organisations have created independent public health datasets, and the infrastructure of the data is undocumented. Obtaining an overview of the available health data suitable for spatial applications is not easy. Most public health data do not have any spatial references, but it should be linked to features with a spatial reference, for example, administrative units or addresses. According to Danish legislation, health information is private, which imposes great limitations on the use of health data. Human health information should not be isolated, which is more or less the situation today, but rather seamlessly combined with other data. The aim of the current research is to identify available public health data in Denmark, including links to spatially referenced features, and to analyse its compliance with the principles of the INSPIRE Directive. The INSPIRE Directive includes the theme of human health and safety, and it is the basis for identifying available health data.


Health, Spatial Data Infrastructure, INSPIRE, Open Data

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